First community solar project coming to Knox County

The wheels are in motion for Trajectory Energy Partners to build the first community solar energy installation in Knox County. The project will include a 22-acre plot just outside of Yates City and will generate 2 megawatts of solar energy. President of the Knox County Area Partnership for Economic Development, Ken Springer, says there are two main factors that are driving the growth of alternative energy. The first was the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act in Illinois in 2016. The Act created the regulatory framework and tax credit system developed at the state level. The other factor, according to Springer, was on the local level. “The move on the part of Knox County to create the solar zoning ordinance showed a lot of foresight,” Springer said. “I really commend the Zoning and Assessor’s Office: Chris Gray and Terri Weidenhamer and their staff for putting together an excellent, easy to work with ordinance. I think that had a lot to do with showing that Knox County is open to solar development. The project is, to our knowledge, the first community-scale solar project that’s been proposed for Knox County. I think it’s going to be a really nice project with a lot of nice aspects.” Some of those aspects include additional property tax revenue, residents and area businesses having the ability to subscribe to the service at competitive rates, and job creation through the installation of the project.  Construction is planned to begin in 2019 and the estimated project cost will be around $4 million. Interested parties can attend an informational open house on Monday, February 19th from 4-6 p.m. at the Yates City Community Center.

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